Increasingly, adult kids are continuing to travel with parents and grandparents (especially when they pick up the tab and it’s an intriguing trip.) Alaska cruise vacations are proving quite popular with adult kids.
According to Travel Alaska, 1.65 million tourists will visit this summer. More than 800,000 will be aboard the 60 large and small ships cruising the state’s waterways from ports in San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver. If you’re considering a trip, now is the time to go!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something we have recommended. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
Table of Contents
Alaska Is a Great Cruise Destination with Adult Kids
You can’t do better than Alaska. It promises 100,000 glaciers, more bears than people, the world’s largest temperate rainforest, eagles, whales, soaring totem poles, fascinating gold rush history, and Native American cultures. Even though you may be far from home, you still are within the United States.
It is no wonder Alaska is on many families’ must-see travel bucket lists, especially for multigenerational families. The good news is that Alaska is an easier — and more affordable — trip than many other bucket-list destinations. It is appropriate for all ages and abilities, including those with mobility issues.
Unforgettable Adventures in Alaska
Of course, you can’t see all that Alaska has to offer on one cruise. But it can be a great introduction.
Carnival Brands, including Princess, Holland America, Carnival, Seabourn, and Cunard, represent upwards of a third of Alaska-bound ships, bringing tens of thousands of travelers from the Lower 48. Each cruise line offers something unique.
Holland America has been in Alaska for 75 years and is the only cruise line to take passengers beyond the ship to the Yukon as well as to Denali National Park.
Princess also offers seamless cruise tours to Denali National Park that use its Princess Wilderness Lodges. They will be sailing seven ships in Alaska this season.
Nature lovers take note: one special Princess Alaska Nature & Adventure Cruise sails Sept. 6-13, 2023 with Wildlife biologist and TV personality Jeff Corwin.
Carnival Cruises’ Multigenerational Land and Sea Alaska Activities
Parents and grandparents want kids of any to learn something during a trip to Alaska and cruise lines deliver on-board and on-shore excursions.
This season, Carnival is introducing new excursions for Carnival Miracle cruises visiting Prince Rupert, B.C.
How about a full-day Grizzly Bear Expedition aboard a 72-foot catamaran designed for wildlife viewing? Glide through towering cliffs, dense forests, and a thriving estuary ecosystem en route to Canada’s only grizzly bear sanctuary. It is home to more than 50 grizzly bears, so there’s an excellent chance you’ll see one.
Other fun shore excursions offered by Carnival in Alaska include a once-in-a-lifetime Skagway glacier helicopter tour, a Yukon suspension bridge and waterfall tour, and a dog musher adventure tour. Adult kids looking for adventure won’t want to miss these opportunities!
Seabourn Has Thrilling Adventures
Seabourn‘s Alaska Expedition team takes guests on exhilarating and informative excursions to explore the region up close and personal. Adventures will vary depending on the itinerary.
Experience such thrills as cruising picturesque fjords and waterways, and trekking on scenic islands, propelled by Zodiac inflatable boats or double sea kayaks. View birds, seals, whales, and other wildlife up close. Survey massive, white-blue icebergs. Seabourn’s expert-guided groups are small, allowing for a more personal experience.
Alaska Provides Culinary Inspiration
Six-star service, gourmet meals, and once-in-a-lifetime adventures guarantee a successful cruise vacation with adult kids. And… without any work for you.
If that sounds like your kind of travel, you’ll love the upscale, intimate, all-inclusive Seabourn cruises. Food is an increasingly important part of the vacation experience for all ages. While the ample dining options and varied buffets on cruise ships don’t disappoint, at Seabourn, the culinary experience is something special.
As an example, a popular dish aboard a Seabourn Alaska cruise is Aji Panca Spiced Roasted Salmon. Read that to mean the freshest of the day’s catch is cooked with Black Beluga lentils, preserved tomatoes, and Port wine glace. This dish and many others on their Alaska cruise vacations feature locally caught Alaskan fish.
I’ve yet to meet an adult kid who doesn’t enjoy being treated to fine dining on cruise vacations. That’s why we appreciate that many cruise lines have been inspired to create Alaskan specials.
Cunard’s Alaska Afternoon tea, for example, is a hybrid of their famously British High Tea service. In Alaska waters, it includes butter-poached snow crab, maple-cured salmon on Alaskan beer soda bread, and halibut and cream cheese wontons, among the offerings.
Princess’s Wild for Alaska Seafood menu features an extensive rotation of fresh Alaska seafood dishes. Sample multiple varieties of Alaska salmon, wild Alaska cod, halibut, rockfish, Dungeness crabs, wild spot prawns, and razor clams.
Cook My Catch offers Princess guests the chance to reel in a fish during a fishing excursion and have chefs cook it for their dinner that night.
Princess also serves destination-inspired cocktails — including flights of Alaska spirits sourced from local distilleries.
Holland America has become the first Alaska-bound cruise line certified sustainable for Alaska Seafood by Responsible Fisheries Management. Grilled, smoked, baked, and even served in chowder, Alaska salmon is a must-try.
How about fish and chips made with halibut? King crab legs are one of the best Alaska dishes to try, but don’t forget crab cakes! With all of these delicious food choices, it’s just another reason to book one of these Alaska cruise vacations with your adult kids.
About the author: Eileen Ogintz is the nationally syndicated columnist of “Taking the Kids” and author of the “Kids’ Guides” series. A repeat visitor to Alaska, she contributed this post about Alaska adventures on sea and land for sponsor Carnival Corporation & PLC.